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Many credit cards have reward schemes, where you earn points for spending money. These points can be redeemed for goods and services. Credit cards with Marriott Rewards gives you access to a range of perks and bonuses associated with the Marriott hotel chain.

We’re going to look at the Marriott Rewards program, including:

  • Examples of some of the benefits this membership scheme gives you access to
  • Potential limitations of the scheme
  • Additional key facts about Marriot Rewards you should be aware of before signing the dotted line

What are credit card rewards?

Credit card reward schemes like Marriott Rewards are designed to reward the credit card owner with points for money they spend through the card. These points can ultimately be redeemed for goods and services, on anything from hotel stays to airline flights, and provide an incentive for credit card users who are making frequent purchases.

The trade-off generally comes in higher interest rates and fees, but if you are comfortable with this and capable of meeting your repayment obligations, credit cards with reward schemes can be an attractive option.

What sort of benefits can I receive through Marriott Rewards?

If you’re a frequent traveller, the Marriott Rewards credit card might be right up your alley. There are a range of perks and bonuses open to credit card reward scheme members who stay at Marriott hotels, or hotels operated by scheme partners like the Ritz-Carlton, AC Hotels and Residence Inn. These credit card perks and benefits include:

  • Hotel perks – Marriott Rewards members have access to a range of hotel perks including room upgrades and internet access. Top-tier Marriott rewards members can also unlock free breakfasts, hotel lounge access and frequent flyer benefits.
  • Lower rates – Travellers who are part of the Marriott Rewards program also have exclusive access to lower hotel rates when staying at participating venues. These rates generally can be accessed when you book directly with Marriott, or through approved travel professionals.
  • Additional perks – If you have a Marriott Rewards credit card you also have access to a range of additional bonuses, like exclusive travel rewards programs, gift cards at a range of major retailers and brands, select travel packages and priority pass options.

How do you earn Marriott Rewards points?

Credit card holders who are part of the Marriott Rewards program have a range of ways to earn Marriott Rewards points and unlock the benefits of this credit card rewards scheme:

  • Stay at a Marriott-branded hotel – Marriott Rewards scheme members get points for staying at Marriott-branded hotels and participating Ritz-Carlton locations around the world. The amount of points you earn depends on where you’re staying and the sort of accommodation you’ve booked at the participating hotel.
  • Make purchases at Marriott Rewards partners – The Marriott Rewards scheme has a range of partners which can provide a useful way to accumulate more points. Making purchases through travel companies like Hertz and CruisesOnly can be a quick way to accumulate more points and get you closer to the credit card rewards schemes benefits.
  • Book events with a Marriott-branded hotel – Booking an event with a credit card that’s part of the Marriott Reward scheme can also be a way to earn points quickly. This can be useful for business travellers, or even people planning big events like a wedding reception.
  • Inviting friends to join – You can also earn extra Marriott Rewards points by inviting friends to join up to the scheme, entitling you to a sign-on bonus.

How do you use Marriott Rewards points?

Once you’ve accumulated enough Marriott Rewards points, you have a range of redemption options to unlock the perks and benefits of this credit card rewards scheme. These include:

  • Free nights – You can use the points accumulated through the Marriott Rewards scheme to book free hotel stays at participating accommodation outlets.
  • Room upgrades – Points earned through the Marriott Rewards scheme can also be put towards room upgrades for a better view or a larger suite.
  • Extra perks and bonuses – Marriott Rewards points can also be put towards extra perks and bonuses such as travel experiences, priority treatment and exclusive access.

How long do Marriott Rewards last?

One important point for anyone who is considering signing up to the Marriott Rewards scheme is the potential for your credit card reward points to expire. And with Marriott Rewards, it really is a case of use your points or lose them. Marriott Rewards expire after 24 months without any qualifying activity. A qualifying activity could be marking a purchase with your Marriott Rewards card, taking a paid stay at one of the participating hotels or redeeming the points on your card.  

Can I transfer my rewards points?

It is possible to transfer points you’ve earned through the Marriott Rewards scheme to other Marriott Rewards members, but there are some strict limitations in place. You can transfer anywhere from 1,000 points to a maximum of 50,000 points per year for a small transaction fee, unless you’re a Gold or Platinum Elite member who can transfer points for free. In some cases, if transferring points to satisfy a specific award, you will be able to exceed the 50,000-point limit.

What are the pros and cons of credit card reward schemes?

Before signing up to a credit card that uses the Marriott Rewards scheme, it’s useful to acquaint yourself with the general pros and cons of credit card reward schemes.

Pros

  • Rewards – This is probably a bit of a given, but the perks are the main drawcard of rewards credit cards. These products typically give members exclusive access to perks like merchandise, travel bonuses and cashback discounts off purchases.
  • Bonus points – Some rewards cards offer bonus points just for signing up.
  • Tangible savings – If you’re loyal to a specific brand represented by the reward scheme, rewards credit cards can help you make tangible savings as a returning customer.
  • Extras – Rewards credit cards often give you access to extras like travel insurance, cashback offers and exclusive discounts on related products.

Cons 

  • Incentive to spend – With the promise of more points for spending more money, reward credit cards can sometimes encourage dangerous spending habits.
  • High fees and interest rates – Rewards credit cards often have high interest payments and high annual fees. Unless you’re paying off your balance in full every month, the incentive of the reward could be nullified by the extra payments you’re making.
  • Restrictions – Another sticking point can be the restrictions on the type of purchases that will allow reward scheme members to earn points, which is why it’s important to understand whether the reward credit card will complement your lifestyle.
  • Point capping and expiry – Many reward-based credit cards have point-capping regulations that restrict the amount of points you can earn in a year, and regulations that have points expire after a certain amount of time. These factors have the potential to undermine the value of your reward credit card.

Frequently asked questions

What's the best credit card for rewards?

There is no one-size-fits-all best rewards credit card. It's best you research what type of rewards program you'd like, as well as the fees, interest rate and conditions associated with those types of cards before making a choice. 

Rewards credit cards can also come with high annual fees that may end up nullifying the rewards, so think how often you use the card to decide whether the benefits outweigh the extra cost for you. A card with a lower annual fee might require a lot of spending to get any useful rewards, while another card with a higher annual fee might need fewer purchases to get a reward. 

How easy is it to get a credit card?

For most Australians, there are no great barriers to applying for and getting approved for a credit card. Here are some points that a lender will consider when assessing your credit card application.

Credit score: A bad credit score is not the be all and end all of your application, but it may stop you being approved for a higher credit limit. If your credit score is less than perfect, apply for the credit limit that you need, rather than the one you want.

Annual income: Most credit cards have minimum annual income requirements. Make sure you’re applying for a card where you meet the minimum.

Age & residency: You need to be at least 18 years old to apply for a credit card in Australia, and most require that you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident. However, there are some credit cards available to temporary residents.

How do you cancel a credit card?

It’s important to cancel your old cards to avoid any additional fees. Unless you’re doing a balance transfer, you’ll need to pay the outstanding balance before you cancel your credit card. If you’ve opted for a card with reward points, make sure you redeem or transfer the points before you close your account. To avoid any bounced payments and save yourself an admin headache, redirect all your direct debits to a new card or account. Once you’ve done all the preparation, call your bank or credit card provider to get the cancellation underway. Once you receive a confirmation letter, destroy your card and make sure the numbers aren’t legible.

Can a pensioner get a credit card?

It is possible to get a credit card as a pensioner. There are some factors to keep in mind, including:

  • Annual income. Look for credit cards with minimum annual income requirements you can meet. 
  • Annual fees. If high fees are a concern for you, opt for a card with a low or $0 annual fee. 
  • Interest rate. Make sure you won’t have any nasty surprises on your credit card bill. Compare cards with a low interest rates to minimise risk.

Does ING increase credit card limits?

You may want to increase your credit card limit for many reasons, such as having access to more spending money. However, if you are using the Orange One credit card issued by ING, you may not be able to do so. 

ING customers can choose a credit limit of their preference when applying for the Orange One credit card. Depending on your financial situation, this limit can be anywhere between $1,000 and $30,000. If you qualify for a Rewards Platinum card, the minimum credit card limit will likely be $6,000. 

Ideally, you should set your credit card limit knowing how much you can afford to repay each month and keep your expenses lower than this level. With most credit cards, you should have the option of requesting a credit card limit increase at a later time, although you will need to qualify for any increase. With an ING credit card, limit increases are out of the question (at the time this was published), which means you may want to apply for a higher credit card limit from the beginning. Remember that you have the option of decreasing your ING credit card limit at a later time.

How do you use credit cards?

A credit card can be an easy way to make purchases online, in person or over the phone. When used properly, a credit card can even help you manage your cash flow. But before applying for a credit card, it’s good to know how they work. A credit card is essentially a personal line of credit which lets you buy things and pay for them later. As a card holder, you’ll be given a credit limit and (potentially) charged interest on the money the bank lends you. At the end of each billing period, the bank will send you a statement which shows your outstanding balance and the minimum amount you need to pay back. If you don’t pay back the full balance amount, the bank will begin charging you interest.

How do you use a credit card?

Credit cards are a quick and convenient way to pay for items in store, online or over the phone. You can use a credit card as a cashless way to pay for goods or services, both locally and overseas. You can also use a credit card to make a cash advance, which gives you the flexibility to withdraw cash from your credit card account. Because a credit card uses the bank’s funds instead of your own, you will be charged interest on the money you spend – unless you pay off the entire debt within the interest-free period. If you pay the minimum monthly repayment, you will be charged interest. There are many different credit card options on the market, all offering different interest rates and reward options.

What should you do if your credit card is compromised?

Credit card fraud is a serious problem. If your credit card is compromised and you’re wondering what to do, here are a few precautionary steps to take.

Contact you credit provider – Get in touch will your credit card provider. If you feel your card has been compromised, you should be able to lock or block it.

Monitor your accounts – Keep an eye on your credit card accounts. Any unauthorised transactions could be a sign your credit card has been compromised.

Check your credit rating – It’s also important to check your credit rating, to ensure you’re not a victim of identity theft or some other financial mischief.

Can I transfer money from my American Express credit card to my bank account?

If you’re an American Express credit card customer, you may not be able to transfer money from your credit card to your bank account. However, you may be eligible for cash advances, which involves withdrawing money through an ATM. 

To qualify for a cash advance, you’ll likely have to enrol for American Express Membership Rewards. Consider checking your online credit card account to see if you can withdraw a cash advance and, if so, the fees and charges you’ll incur for this transaction. 

You should remember that cash advances are different from balance transfers, which were available with some American Express credit cards earlier. Balance transfers allow customers to consolidate debt from high-interest credit cards to a credit card offering a lower interest rate. If you only recently applied for an American Express credit card, balance transfers may not be available irrespective of the card you own. 

Should I get a credit card?

Once you've compared credit card interest rates and deals and found the right card for you, the actual process of getting a credit card is quite straightforward. You can apply for a credit card online, over the phone or in person at a bank branch. 

What should you do when you lose your credit card?

Losing your credit card is a serious situation, and could land you in financial trouble. Here is a simple guide detailing what to do when you lose your credit card.

Lock you card – Contact your provider and inform them about your lost credit card. From here lock, block or cancel your card.

Keep track of transactions – Look out for unauthorised credit card transactions. Most banks protect against fraudulent transactions.

Address recurring charges – If your card is linked to recurring charges (gym membership, rent, utilities), contact those businesses.

Check credit rate – To ensure you’re not the victim of identity theft, check your credit rating a month or two after you lose your credit card.

How to get a credit card for the first time

A credit card can be a useful financial tool, provided you understand the risks and can meet repayment obligations.

If you’re a credit card first-timer, review your options. Think about what kind of credit card would suit your lifestyle, and compare providers by fees, perks and repayments.

Once you’ve selected a card, it’s time to apply. Credit card applications can generally be completed in store, online or over the phone.

When you apply for a credit card for the first time, you must meet age, residency and income requirements. As proof, you must also provide documentation such as bank account statements.

How do you apply for a credit card?

You can apply for a credit card online, over the phone or in person at the bank. Once you’ve compared the current credit card offers, the application process is quick and easy. Before you get your application started, you’ll need to gather your personal information like proof of ID, payslips and bank statements, proof of employment and details of your income, assets and liabilities. To be eligible for a credit card, you’ll need to be an Australian citizen over 18 and earn a minimum of $15,000 each year. Once you’ve applied for a credit card, you should get a response fairly instantly. If your credit card application has been approved, you should receive a welcome pack with your new credit card within 10-15 days.

What should I do if my ANZ credit card has expired?

Your ANZ credit card is considered expired only after the last day of the month and year marked on your card. For instance, if your card’s expiry date reads 03/22, it is valid until 31 March 2022 and expires on 1 April 2022. Typically, you should have received a new credit card by that date, and you won’t have to request a new card. 

Once you get the new card, you should remember to switch any automatic payments you have - such as a utility or mobile phone bill - from your expired credit card to your new credit card. Equally, if you are using CardPay Direct to repay your ANZ credit card debt, you may need to update the credit card account details for that service as well. 

In case the new card doesn’t arrive by the expiry date of your current credit card, you can call ANZ on 13 22 73 to find out the reason and if you need to request an expedited card. Please note that if you were planning to close your credit card account or request a credit card upgrade, you may need to call ANZ at least before the 25th of the month your current credit card expires in, as that’s when they may send you the new credit card.

How can I increase my Bankwest credit card limit?

When you apply for a Bankwest credit card, you get assigned a pre-set credit limit, which will end up being the most that you can spend on your credit card before having to pay it off. Your credit limit is chosen for you and your current financial situation, and you should remember not to overspend, irrespective of the limit, in order to avoid racking up a massive bill.

However, banks and lenders understand that your needs will change, and have made it possible for you to increase your credit card limit, allowing you to get extra cash when you need it most. Moreover, with a higher spending limit, you may be able to get access to certain perks and benefits with your Bankwest credit card.

To increase your Bankwest credit card limit, you can visit any of the bank’s branches or call 13 17 19 and follow the steps outlined.

What is a balance transfer credit card?

A balance transfer credit card lets you transfer your debt balance from one credit card to another. A balance transfer credit card generally has a 0 per cent interest rate for a set period of time. When you roll your debt balance over to a new credit card, you’ll be able to take advantage of the interest-free period to pay your credit card debt off faster without accruing additional interest charges. If your application is approved, the provider will pay out your old credit card and transfer your debt balance over to the new card. 

How to make a credit card online

If you’re wondering about how to make a credit card online application, here are some steps to follow:

  • Test the market. Many credit card options are available online. Compare providers by fees, interest and perks to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
  • Complete the application. Once you’ve selected a card, head to the provider’s website and complete the online credit card application form. Forms vary by providers.
  • Provide details. Most cards require you to meet age, residency, income and credit status condition, and you need to provide details like a bank account statement to prove this.
  • Review details. Ensure the information you’ve entered is correct.

How to pay a credit card

There are a few ways to pay a credit card bill. These include:

  • BPAY - allows you to safely make credit card payments online.
  • Direct debits - set up an automatic payment from your bank account to pay your credit card bill each month. You can choose how much you want to pay of your credit card bill when you set up the auto payments.
  • In a branch.
  • Via your credit card provider's app.

How does ANZ increase my credit card limit?

If you’re the primary cardholder on an ANZ credit card, you can increase your credit limit by logging into your credit card account and choosing the “Increase your credit limit” option. You can also submit an ANZ credit card limit increase application form by visiting any ANZ branch or by mail or fax. When completing the form, it's important to remember to specify how much you want the limit increased. You can estimate this by first calculating the amount of credit card debt you can afford to repay based on your income and expenses, and then declaring that in your application. 

Irrespective of whether you’re completing your ANZ credit card limit increase application online or in print, you’ll need to provide updated employment information, income, and expenses, which the company will have to verify. You'll also need to authorise ANZ’s access to your credit history, as your current credit score and recent credit history tell the company about your financial responsibility, and whether or not you'll be able to repay the additional debt you’re applying for. 

In some cases, ANZ may ask you for additional information, or the agent processing the application may reach out to you after your application is received. After verifying your credit score as well as your personal and financial information, however, ANZ may approve a credit card limit increase proportionate to your repaying ability, though it may not be the same as the increase you requested.

How do I apply for a BOQ credit card limit increase?

If you’re an existing BOQ customer, you can request a BOQ credit card limit increase over a phone call. However, you should remember that owning and using a credit card is a matter of financial responsibility, so it might be worth thinking this decision through. 

When requesting a credit card limit increase, you’ll need to be just as responsible in terms of how much you earn and can set aside to repay the outstanding card balance. A credit card company may approve a credit limit increase only if you can show that you have either the income or the disposable income, which is the amount you have left after all expenses have been paid out.

For this purpose, you may need to submit your latest income documents and bank statements for an increase. You may want to estimate how much you usually have left after deducting your expenses, and then use this amount to try and convince the credit card company. Also, you may prefer to pay off the card balance in full each month and thus avoid paying interest on the card, helping you back up any claims of financial responsibility, as well. 

Remember that you may not be able to apply for a credit card limit increase beyond any limitations on the type of card you own. For instance, if you own a card whose ceiling is $10,000, and your current limit is $5,000, you won't likely be able to apply for a $10,000 credit card limit increase.